‘I’m an Herbalist, and This Delicious Honey Ginger Mocktail Calms Nerves and Boosts Your Mood’

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The holiday season can be stressful for a whole host of reasons. There are invitations galore, work is busy, the frigid weather makes getting dressed (and undressed) a whole saga, there are gifting stressors, and sometimes the occasional family woes.

Luckily, there are just as many natural herbs, tinctures, and tonics that you can whip up with zero effort (and minimal ingredients) that can help ease your nerves. On our latest episode of Plant Based, herbalist and founder of Supernatural, Rachelle Robinett, teaches us how to make a delicious honey vinegar mocktail mixer that will have your body, brain, and taste buds saying ahhhh. Who doesn't love an elixir that both tastes deliciously tart and tangy and helps combat anxiety?

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According to Robinett, this particular combination of functional herbs is called an oxymel. "An oxymel is a tincture or an elixir that uses vinegar and honey as the base," explains Robinett. "So when you make this at home, you can choose herbs that you like the flavor of or herbs that you like the function of." This means that the mocktail recipe below is just a basic template; it's super forgiving and customizable, so you can opt for whatever functional ingredients you prefer—slash need—most.

Because we're specifically looking for calming ingredients that you will also enjoy sipping, Robinett has chosen ginger, sage, chamomile, lemon balm, and lavender for this mocktail. According to Robinett, this is because they have relaxing (but not sedative) benefits that taste delicious together. Sage is great for lung health, coughs, congestion, and even digestion; the lemon balm is mood-boosting and great for the nervous system, says Robinett.

When it comes to combining all of the ingredients, start by filling your jar with all of your chosen herbs. Next, make sure you cover them all with the vinegar and honey of your choice. Robinett recommends the golden ratio of half vinegar to half honey, but you can lesson the amount of honey (or up the vinegar) if you would prefer your tonic to taste less sweet. Because the vinegar and honey are both acting as preservatives in this recipe, it's essential that they fully cover your raw herbs and other ingredients. Also, remember to shake your filled jar every few days as it sits and brews to make sure that the extraction is happening fully and uniformly. After at least two weeks of brewing, you can strain the herbs out using a cheesecloth, re-jar the liquid, and use it in anything from cocktails and mocktails to teas, salad dressings, and even baking recipes.

Ready to get started? Watch the video to learn how to whip it up, and find the step-by-step recipe for the calming honey vinegar mocktail below.

Calming honey vinegar mocktail recipe

1/3 cup sage, torn
1/4 cup ginger, chopped
1/3 cup lemon balm
Apple cider vinegar

1. Fill your jar with the sage, ginger, and lemon balm. Then, add equal parts apple cider vinegar and raw organic honey until the herbs and completely covered. Stir everything together well.

3. Cover the elixir and steep for a minimum of two weeks, shaking every few days.

4. Strain and re-jar the elixir.

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